It didn't take long for Emilio to arrive in the cabin, face friendly and supportive. "Hello again, dear. Ready to start walking?" She just sighed, one hand carding through her hair. "I suppose I am." Marcelina watched as Emilio came closer, standing within arm's reach. "Well, to start the process of walking, one has to have balance and coordination." He began, and Marcelina gestured to herself. "I think I can balance well enough. I was doing it while I waiting for you, after all." Emilio smirked at her and grabbed her arms. Standing her straight, she immediately began to wobble precariously. "Ah, but not so, you were resting very lightly on the bed with your calves. That doesn't count." He let her go for just a second and Marcelina grabbed his shirt front, tilting like a drunkard. He chortled unashamedly. "As I said: balance and coordination."
Marcelina gave a small pout but nodded. "How long is this going to take, Emilio?" Emilio shrugged, steadying her again. "Months, at the least." When she gawked at the amount, he could only offer her a small smile. And so they began. It took a great deal of patience on everyone's part, and the breaking down of Marcelina's pride. Balancing was mastered soon enough, after a week or two of being caught and lightly chuckled at. Marcelina had always pouted every time, but internally she was glad that Emilio hadn't truly ridiculed her for this. He didn't try to take advantage of her either. Arturo trusted them enough to leave her alone with Emilio nine times out of ten and out of those nine times not once did he grab her inappropriately.
Coordination was harder to handle, it was an entirely new level of balance and using muscles to move rather than to just stay still. Marcelina found herself gripping Emilio's shirt tight enough to rip holes in it, but he wasn't angered. When they weren't physically walking, they were sitting down and chatting (and at the same time maintaining her balance) about everything and nothing. Marcelina wasn't frigid, but she certainly didn't babble about her life story. Instead, she sat and listened to Emilio, gaining insight of his personality and the complexities of man. One such occasion approached them near the end of her 'training' if they were to put a word to it. They were outside this time, letting Marcelina sunbathe and further test her balance on a rocking ship. She was handling it amazingly as if she'd been walking on ships all her life.
"Emilio, if I were to allow you to call me by name, would you?" Marcelina watched as Emilio shifted about, drawing his knees up to his chest. He looked her straight in the eye and smiled, an easy curling of his lips. "Probably not." The answer threw her in for a loop, and Marcelina wasn't sure what the sinking feeling in her stomach was for. "Why not? Sailors always dream of knowing a nereid's name. " She asked back, crossing one leg at the knee. Emilio just shrugged at her. "I just can't, dear." There was a shift in his blue eyes, something Marcelina noticed but didn't read into. Instead, she was fighting the urge to pout. "Suit yourself, then, Emilio." Emilio nodded, pretending to be hurt when Marcelina turned away from him. They didn't speak on the topic of Marcelina's name for another few weeks or so, but that didn't mean they didn't speak.
Marcelina learned there was much more to these sailors than she'd expected. Emilio was, as always, smooth, patient, agreeable and almost entirely existent on romanticism. Not that he was trying to be romantic to her or with her, but Marcelina saw that he loved the concept of love and all its intimate details. Not that she knew what all those details were, and didn't care. It wasn't in her emotional capabilities yet to wonder about those. Sergio was indeed a very large child in the body of a man. He was so sweet and trusting and eager to hear of her world. Marcelina did like to preen herself with her stories but never did say too much. Sergio wasn't to be underestimated, however. He had wisdom, a cleverness that could be quite sharp, and strength of an unnatural sort. Marcelina was starting to think she was surrounded by more than simple men, especially when it came to Emilio, Sergio, and Arturo, by extension. It would make sense, considering the other sailors were nowhere near as clever or unique or generally attractive (not physically, never physically with her).
So, gradually, Marcelina came to trust and finally, finally, call those allies friends. Except Arturo, he just became tolerable. She smiled and laughed on occasion, but usually, the responses were eye rolls and light sarcastic banter. Marcelina and Emilio still had to take walks around the ship, and Emilio, as usual, would hold on to some part of her arm or hand while she walked, in case her legs forgot their purpose for whatever purpose. It always caught the attention of the crew, after all, it wasn't often one saw a grown person walk, much less an able-bodied one. Today was the true test of her skills. Emilio had let her go, patted her back, and started jogging. Marcelina, naturally, refused to be left behind, so she jogged after him. The sensation was amazing, Marcelina's heart had a quick, but steady thrum as she moved, as though she were cruising underwater. Her footfalls were steady and rhythmic in their loud patterns-she turned out to be heavy footed- making others watch. By lunch, Emilio allowed her to rest and sunbathe. He beamed a smile at her.
"You're officially a walking woman, dear." Marcelina smiled her widest yet and in a spur of glee, hugged him around his torso. Emilio didn't expect it, but his stomach did pleased flips and he was glad she didn't see him blush or smile like an idiot. "Thank you, Emilio. You've given me a bit of freedom, it was sorely missed." Emilio returned her hug, patting her back. "Of course, dear. I look forward to watching you move about and enjoy the day fully." They pulled back. Marcelina tucked her legs up to her chest. "Call me Marcelina." He copied her position, their forearms touching between them. "I can't." She puffed her chest up, staring at him flatly. "Why not?" Emilio scratched the tip of his nose, having the humility to look away from her stare. "It's a bit foolish, I suppose, but it's been told that if one calls out a nereid's name while they're bonded to another, then a new bond is formed. This makes a rather violent love triangle form as well. The original bond will become poisoned somehow and someone will die in a horrid storm. Arturo calls you by name already, I'd rather not risk it, no matter how tempting it is to call you by your name." Marcelina was quiet for a moment, then leaned back and laughed.
"That's barely half-true. Yes, a new bond is formed, but you won't die and no love triangle is coming out of this. Nereids frequently form bonds with friends and family. It keeps us safe and happy. Besides, I'm unmated, I can't love anyone or anything the way you think I would yet. No love triangle can form out of a lack of interest. I've invited you to call me by name, it's rude to deny me for so long." Marcelina rose an eyebrow at Emilio when she was done, her right hand extended to him when she finished. Emilio hesitated, then took her hand and with a deep breath, said, "Marcelina it is, then." Though Marcelina felt nothing, Emilio was suddenly aware of a warm spot on his palm, where his and her hands were joined. It traveled up his arm and to his chest, where it expanded into a pleasant hum of heat. He saw her through different, enhanced eyes. The bond had awakened parts of him Emilio thought long erased. He didn't know how to react, either by extreme joy or worry.
Emilio kept his ease, though, showing none of his inner reactions. Marcelina smiled and released their hands, feeling a stronger camaraderie with the man. Now, she had a true friend on this ship, beyond the simple human concept. "So, what now? I'm fully mobile again." Marcelina stood, having gathered all the sun's internal magick. Emilio stood as well, stretching and then winking playfully at her. "I advise you stay out of Arturo's sight. He might put you to work with the rest of us." The shorter laughed a bit, a hand coming to hide a tinge of blush. She'd forgotten that Emilio was also naturally flirtatious, and very good at it, to affect her so. Unfortunately, speaking the name of the devil does indeed make him come, and Arturo came swiftly. He looked at Marcelina and Emilio and something in his heart shifted sour. Jealousy snaked through him like an angry snake, sudden and unable to be capped. "I assume she's walking properly now if you two are prattling about like lazy hens!" He hissed, hands on his hips.
It came out a lot harsher than he realized. Marcelina frowned at him, but Emilio, was for the most part, unfazed. "Yes, after months of hard work, she can walk." He smiled fondly at Marcelina, silently congratulating her. Marcelina returned it, furthering the deterioration of Arturo's mood. "Well, you, Emilio, have an actual job to do, and you've had enough time to avoid it. Get to work!" Emilio frowned now, silently leaving with a nod to Marcelina. She pursed her lips to one side, leveling Arturo with a judging look. "Are you always so brash with those who are like brothers to you?" Arturo's jealousy evaporated the moment Emilio had left them, letting Arturo realize his error. He blinked fast for a moment, almost dazed and then in a grumbling embarrassment. "Only if they're slacking whilst there's plenty of work to be done. Come on, Marcelina. I've got something for you." He turned around and began walking, pausing for a moment to make sure she was following.
They traveled down to a cabin a few doors down from Arturo's. It was simply furnished, with a twin sized bed, a nightstand to the left of it and a vanity set atop a small drawer near the considerably larger window. The window faced east, large enough to offer plenty of light and a satisfying view, but small enough to avoid falling out of. A trunk was in the left corner of the room. "No one is to share this cabin with you. The trunk has spare bed sheets, two sets, to be exact. When we dock next I'll have the loot to buy women's clothes and other small things." Arturo watched as Marcelina stepped inside and surveyed the place, internally hoping for a good reaction. Marcelina looked at him over her shoulder, nodding appreciatively. "Thank you, Arturo." Her words were sincere, if a little unsure. Arturo cleared his throat a bit, nodding back. "For now, spruce it up with how much magick is available to you. I'll come back for you ten minutes before dinner." Then Arturo left Marcelina in her cabin, closing it softly.